Yeah, I’m Cooking. Wanna Make Something Of It?

November 27, 2013 By: Juanita Jean Herownself Category: Uncategorized

Oh yeah, I am Betty Crocker twice a year nowadays – Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I am making smoked turkey, cranberry relish, string beans with almonds, dressing with celery, green onions, mushrooms and pecans, mac and cheese (my kids’ favorite), yams, beefsteak tomatoes with mozzarella and fresh mint, and giblet gravy.

I rarely use recipes.  The woman in my family consider that a failing of creativity and courage.  However, this is the best cranberry relish you will ever eat.

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33 Comments to “Yeah, I’m Cooking. Wanna Make Something Of It?”


  1. I’m making Raspberry, blackberry, and dewberry cobblers-one each
    and I just made a batch of chocolate covered blackberries and raspberries with Belgian chocolate.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and Bubba.

    To the kids, and the grand-kids. Little Ben.

    We are Blessed to have you.

    Enjoy! Stay warm.

    I’m going to wing something with poultry and dressing.
    And some cranberry sauce. And who knows what else. It will be a surprise.

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  3. Marge Wood says:

    Man. I think I’ll leave our horde to their own devices and come to your house. That relish also looks like something even I could do if I get brave and have all the ingredients and there are enough clean pans.

    Since Hanukkah begins on T’giving this year, I am making a symbolic wave to the Jewish community with sliced radishes and scallions with a bit of sugar and salt on it, and do I need vinegar? Seems like I do….

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  4. Marge Wood says:

    Mike, how could I FORGET cobblers?! I never make them. Silly me. This is already making me hungry. Gotta go to the store, again. Our kids are nailed to the wall to BRING A SIDE DISH. Yeah. I didn’t say if you want to, I just told ’em.

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  5. Rum and Coke

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  6. Don A in Pennsyltucky says:

    I wasn’t going to do a turkey — but then I discovered that the “points” from the grocery chain were going to expire on Saturday so I took the free turkey. Except that the one I wanted (which cost less) didn’t qualify because it was “fresh” not frozen. (Poultry which has been cooled down to about 25F is considered fresh. It has to get down to 0F before they call it frozen. Go figure.) I bitched them out and made a fuss and got the turkey I had selected. So now I have to cook the S.O.B. Since it isn’t much bigger than a good sized roasting chicken, I plan to brine it for a few hours tomorrow morning then roast it upside down. Also going to have the pineapple-orange glazed yams, cheesy-garlic mashed potatoes, and some sort of vegetable stuff. Friday will be turkey enchiladas, Saturday turkey burritos, and cow knows what on Sunday.
    I made the pumpkin pies last Saturday. There were 4 of them. One was taken to a potluck. There’s about half a pie left. It’s tough living with a wolf.

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  7. For about twenty years we have had the traditional Thanksgiving lasagne in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. NO leftovers.

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  8. e platypus onion says:

    I’m watching football and eating beef and noodles.

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  9. Marion (formerly known as MM) says:

    Mike, I just have one question about your desserts. Can I come to your house?

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  10. Corinne Sabo says:

    You have to have a really big rolling paper to smoke a turkey.

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  11. This is a great relish, but needs one more thing: jalapenos. Add one, diced very fine, and let the whole thing marinate overnight. Or two.

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  12. Linda, in our Italian house we had lasagna too- after the antipasto and before the turkey that preceded salad and the dessert and “digidee” (some kind of fluorescent liquor, off limits to kids). It’s a wonder we aren’t all 500 pounds.

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  13. Traditional Thanksgiving dinners have never been my favorite meals (has to do with childhood and leftovers–don’t ask). I’ve roasted exactly ONE turkey in my adulthood and, of course, I forgot about the giblet packet stuck in the rear-end of the bird.

    It used to be a time when I experimented with food that was anything but turkey (you should have seen my husband’s expression when he brought home a pheasant I had ordered).

    For several years now, we have had a standing invite to our friends in Maryland and I just have to bring something to nosh beforehand and Brussels Sprouts this year. I don’t bring home any leftovers and life is good.

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  14. The recipe has been lost, but these are delicious.
    Peel and cook sweet potatoes till soft but firm. Slice in 1/4 inch pieces
    And this is where the creativity comes in.
    I start with a stick of unsalted butter and melt in a large flat pan. Add dk.brown sugar until it is absorbed by the butter.
    Add Amaretto(or generic brand), start with 1/4 – 1/2 Cup and stir well.
    When it looks, tastes good, add sweet potatoes.
    Spoon mixture over potatoes.
    I can’t be more specific since I’ve been making this for years. Even if you end up with mashed potato consistency, these are very, very good.

    I always have a small ameretto over ice in honor of my grandmother who gave me this recipe.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody!!!!!

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  15. Marion. I won’t be at my house, I’ll be at my brother’s.

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  16. Ginger and pepper??? Now thats something I never heard of. Means I am more likely to try it.

    Fortunately, we are eating out tomorrow, that is if we are not snowed in!

    Enjoy!

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  17. Happy Thanksgiving, JJ and Family from this foreign city of New York! I wish I could be there with you in Texas! The food sounds great! No recipes, but this wonderful blog is one of the many things I am thankful for this year!

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  18. Marge Wood says:

    I’m thankful for y’all too. The praying ones can say a prayer for our daughter in law whose blood pressure shot up and we may have a new g’baby by Friday! I’m going up there in a minute to the hospital. We expect it will all work out okay but I figure prayers never hurt and they may help. I’m taking my knitting.

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  19. Sounds yummie. Don’t need any help from me. I’ll be right over with a bottle of cheer!

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  20. DaddyWasATexan says:

    I’m a big fan of Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry ever since her daughter-in-law Susan described it on NPR.
    http://www.food.com/recipe/mama-stambergs-cranberry-relish-recipe-104798

    Pepto Bismol Pink is about right, but amazing on everything–especially latkes for Thanksgivukkah!

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  21. One question I used to get from a lot of omnivores was, “Vegetarian? What do you eat on Thanksgiving?”

    Oh, let’s see– stuffing (veggie), mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, olives, those little onions, carrots, pumpkin pie, pecan pie…. I have to go lie down, and they wonder what I can eat? It’s the one day a year when almost everybody’s table has multiple veggie dishes.

    And tofurkey roast with stuffing and mushroom gravy, with vegetables and cranberry sauce, is actually pretty darn good, thanks.

    I am thankful for the like-minded and sane (well, they go together) people here at Juanita Jean’s! May we be a growing bastion of sanity, because we’re going to need it!

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  22. I’m making reservations.

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  23. I just finished making these, my house smells heavenly:

    Parker House Rolls
    3 ½ hours before serving

    6 to 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    ½ c. sugar
    2 tsp. salt
    2 packs, active dry yeast
    1 c. butter softened
    1 egg

    1. In large bowl, combine 2 ¼ c flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; add ½ c. butter. With mixer at low speed, gradually pour 2 cups hot tap water (120 to 130 degrees) into dry ingredients. Add egg, increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in ¾ c. flour or enough to make thick batter. Continue beating 2 minutes. With spoon stir in enough additional flour (about 2 ½ c.) to make soft dough.
    2. Knead the dough about 10 minutes, shape dough into ball and place in larger greased bowl, turning over so top of dough is greased. Let rise until doubled (1 ½ hours)
    3. Punch down, knead lightly to make a smooth ball, cover with bowl 15 minutes to rest the dough.
    4. In 17” by 11 ½“ roasting pan over low heat melt ½ c butter, tilt to grease sides of pan.
    5. Roll out dough to ½ inch. With 2 ¾” round cutter (measure to be sure it is the right size) cut dough. Dip both sides in the melted butter in the pan, fold in half and pinched closed, arrange in pan, nearly touching, it is okay if they look sloppy – let rise until doubled – about 40 minutes.
    6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake rolls 18 to 20 minutes until browned. Makes about 3 ½ dozen.

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  24. Myself, I’d just as soon have a plate full of mashed rutabagas covered with gravy and some cornbread and fruit salad, and whatever pie is sitting around.

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  25. Every time some body tries to get all creative and MAKE cranberry sauce, no one eats it. Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce in the can, its a family tradition.

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  26. Marcia in CO says:

    Here in Canon City, CO, the local VFW folks put on a festive spread each and every Thanksgiving and Christmas … turkey, ham, dressing … the whole enchilada … and they top it all off with a piece of pie and everyone in town and some come from out-of-town to sit and feast with friends, family, and strangers and all for a donation as you leave with a full tummy!! It is one huge gathering of folks and that’s where I’m going … meeting up with 3 gals from church who don’t have any family or none close … my 2 boys are in California so I make do with friends!
    No cooking, no clean-up, just a good meal with friends!
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO JJ & BUBBA AND THEIR FAMILY AND TO THE ON-LINE FAMILY OF ALL OF US WHO JOIN US DAILY AT THE BEAUTYSHOP!! (((HUGS TO EVERYONE)))

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  27. My mother always made Waldorff Salad (grapes, apples, celery, walnuts, sour cream) on Thanksgiving, so in her honor I do too.
    Just hoping there are no black widow spiders in my seedless grapes.
    Blessings to all.

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  28. I just finished my “winging it” for Thanksgiving.

    What’s for dinner?

    I took boneless chicken breasts. Sauteed them with onions, red, yellow and green peppers, in a little EVOO. Kinda like fajitas.

    Made some cornbread dressing. And also added to that…. some onions, red yellow and green pepper (no celery). .. and some low sodium chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup. A little salt free butter….to make it nice and moist.

    It will all bake, covered in foil for about an hour.

    I guess it’s Tex-Mex Thanksgiving.

    That’s as much a recipe as I’ll ever have to share for anything I cook.

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  29. If you want a big, gooey, rich chocolate cake for the crowd, try this: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/german-chocolate-cheesecake

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  30. Celebrating Chanoookah (you have to be from New York to understand this reference) and Thanksgiving is great. Going to a friends house with a freshly made Sweet Potato New York style Cream Cheese Cake.

    Calories 200 hundred friggin’ million
    Happiness Quotient – off the charts

    Have a safe and great day!

    Sharon

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  31. If I don’t bring this tart, I have to sit outside.
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/French-Apple-Almond-Tart-4665
    Peace, love, and understanding, y’all.

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  32. Didn’t get here yesterday (a mite busy) but the menu included 2 turkeys (stuffed & roasted in roasters, with giblet gravy), 1 ham, in oven, glazed with homemade spiced pear glaze, green bean casserole (made by guests L- and G-), sweet potato-apple-cranberry saute (made by guests R- and F-), creamed spinach & mushroom casserole, fiesta corn (yellow corn kernels, sliced red & green bell peppers, sauteed onions & garlic, can of Ro-tel with lime & cilantro), two different cranberry sauces (made by guests R- and F-), pumpkin pie, gingerbread-apple-walnut loaf cake, pecan pie (made by guests R- and F-), brownie pie (made by guests S- and D-) and whipped cream to go with the desserts (some of which ended up on me when the mixer caught the spatula and flung lumps all over the place), big green salad, nibbly things on the tables (olives, pickles, that sort of thing), rolls, butter, crackers, cheeses. We all agreed the sweet potato-apple-cranberry thing was the best ever sweet-potato dish.

    We were short some guests who had sudden other problems and couldn’t come, and I was running late thanks to come unanticipated problems here (the roof over the dining room leaking onto the stack of clean table linens for instance, so that the dark red napkins leaked onto the white napkins), but it all turned out well. We just didn’t fill both the long tables. We have more leftovers than usual. Some of today’s work is packaging them for the freezer.

    Next year I’ll invite more people and they’ll all come and the latecomers will be eating off trays in the living room.

    Spinach casserole is something I concocted because I like the creamed spinach with mushrooms at Threadgill’s on N. Lamar in Austin. It’s not their recipe. It’s my version of something sortakinda like it. 2 lbs chopped frozen spinach, 1 pound cream cheese cut up in chunks, some heavy cream, a fine-diced onion, sauteed, 2 cloves of garlic, finally sliced, 1/2 to 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced and sauteed, a little ground ginger, a little allspice, tiny pinch of cloves, paprika (not smoked–the straight stuff), ample salt, a dash or two of red pepper flakes. Best to my taste if the sauteeing is done in bacon fat, but I have vegetarian visitors so for thanksgiving it’s done in vegetable oil & butter (they aren’t vegans.) The flavoring’s all to individual taste. The spinach flavor should still come out, but the others add complexity to the blandness of the cream cheese/cream sauce. If not making it for vegetarians, it also tastes great with some bacon crumbled into it.

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  33. Richard McDonald says:

    Can anyone tell me how making emploee’s work on thanksgiving day and Christmas Day is not a wor on Xmas or the same holds true for thanksgiving.
    ???????????????

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